My doorway to Lui Peng’s music came in the form of ‘Nocturnal’, a track from his 2017 debut EP Demons. A smooth R&B jam capped with Che Lingo’s rap rhymes, it hooks one in with its suave, groovy vibe, a quality you’ll find nestled in many of Lui’s songs.
If that leaves you wanting more, you’ll be happy to hear that Lui Peng has been keeping himself busy — the British-Chinese singer just recently released his second EP titled Feathers. In town recently for his Asia Tour (also his first tour ever), Buro Malaysia caught up with Lui for a quick tête-à-tête to delve a little further into his music:
With this being your first tour, what’s it been like so far?
“It’s been real good. I’ve really enjoyed Asia. Everyone has been very lovely and food is of course amazing. It’s also been amazing to see how many people actually enjoy my music from all over of the world — it’s something that still feels new to me. It’s refreshing and I’m hoping it will happen more.”
Let’s get into your music. Tell us about your new single, ‘On My Mind’.
“‘On My Mind’ is produced by an American producer called Inner Soul. He basically sent over this instrumental called ‘Got You On My Mind’, and literally that evening I got cracking straight into it because I heard it and went like whoa — it reminded me a little bit of Drake, it reminded me a little bit of J. Cole; all these different R&B and hip-hop people. I just vibed with that and it came really naturally to me. About four days later the song was pretty much finished and ready for tracking. The take that you hear is pretty much the demo take. I’ve done other takes on the song, but the initial take turned out to be the best one.”
And you’ve got an EP out now.
“Yeah. It’s called Feathers, because I write a lot of cute love songs for girls, and “birds” is a slang for girls in the UK, so I thought that will be an elegant way of putting it. There are six songs on it. Three songs have been released as singles already, but one of them is actually not the original version — so if you want to listen to the original one, you’ve got to get the EP (laughs).”
How would you describe your sound?
“You know, I always have a difficult time answering this…”
Because your sound seems pretty fluid from track to track.
“Exactly. I would call it alternative pop, but my sound in general varies a lot because I take a lot of inspiration from various different sources. So someone could give me an R&B/hip-hop beat like ‘On My Mind’, but then I could just strip it back and just go with a laidback, sort of acoustic set.”
What’s your creative process like?
“An idea can come from anywhere, in any shape or form. Sometimes I get the concept of a song in my head, or sometimes a melody will come to me, and I’ll just vibe of it and fit words to the melody. Some of these ideas just sit in my notepad and nothing is done with them, but the ones that I do end up developing turns out being a lot of fun.”
Who are you listening to right now?
“I’m recently hooked onto TS Graye — her music is pretty incredible. The late Mac Miller, who has been a massive influence of mine for a long time, and ‘Missed Calls’ is one of my favourite songs. It’s really sad that he passed away at such a young age. Other artists that are on my playlist right now include Jhené Aiko, J. Cole and Bas (their new song ‘Tribe’ is a banger), 7AM and Jaguar Jones.”
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